Upper School Theater Scheduled to Attend Edinburgh Fringe Festival Summer of 2024


Photo by Helen Jackson

Jackie Dishman

After a lengthy application process, Greenhill’s program has been selected by American High School Theater Festival to participate in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer of 2024.

This festival is the largest performing arts festival in the world, with people coming from various countries to perform and watch.

According to the Upper School Theater Director and Instructor, Valerie Hauss-Smith, around 40,000 performers travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, and around 3,000 performances will be held.

The Greenhill theater program was referred to the American High School Theater Festival, an organization that selects American high schools to go to participate in the festival and was told that they should participate in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The preparation that goes into being able to perform at this event is unlike any other. Between communicating with the Greenhill administration, filling out applications, and lots of discussions, the process was lengthy.

“There was a lot of talk back and forth until we were able to figure it out,” Hauss-Smith said.

Additionally, the fact that it is an out-of-school event makes the process a bit more difficult than normal.

While preparing for this Festival, Greenhill Theater still has to produce the fall musical, Mean Girls, as well as the spring play. Depending on the number of people who sign up, some students will go as actors and some as technicians.

There is no experience required in order to apply; everyone is welcome to audition.

On May 16, the show that Greenhill Theater will be performing at the festival will be announced. Sometime over the coming summer break, the script will be released to students.

The students who want to participate will be asked to come in the first week of school with an essay on why they want to partake in the performance and what they want to get out of it.

“This is a once and a lifetime opportunity, and we want them to be able to reflect on it,” Hauss-Smith said.

In the second week of school, there will be auditions for actors and interviews for tech students.

After auditions are finalized, the trip planning process will begin. The goal is to meet throughout the year once every two to three weeks for two and a half hours. On May 30, 2024, there will be a showing of the performance in Rose Hall before the students leave for Edinburgh.

The departure for Edinburgh is scheduled for July 27, 2024.

Participants will stay in Europe for two weeks and will be back on August 9, 2024. The Greenhill Theater will be performing four different times throughout the festival.

In addition to performing and watching others, several activities are planned for while they are in London, England.

Freshman Syrus Gupta said, “I’m really excited to be a part of the festival next year because it will be an experience that I will never forget.”